Sidmouth dentist fills a gap in Kenya!

PUBLISHED: 14:24 10 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:11 17 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH dentist visited Kenya as part of a charity s mission to improve health care in the dilapidated country. David de Klerk, 50, principal dentist of Merrifield Dental Practice visited the Gai region of Kenya for ten days in November with the Akamba

A SIDMOUTH dentist visited Kenya as part of a charity's mission to improve health care in the dilapidated country.

David de Klerk, 50, principal dentist of Merrifield Dental Practice visited the Gai region of Kenya for ten days in November with the Akamba Aid Fund.

The charity is an independent trust based in South Somerset. Set up in 1999, it aims to enable the poorest rural communities in Eastern Kenya to have access to the essentials of life.

David was accompanied by Dr James Buckle, a GP, Simon Fracklewicz, an optometrist and Mr Jeremy Rawle, a local engineer.

All members of the party paid for their own travel and accommodation allowing all funds raised in the UK to be used for the benefit of the people intended.

David said: "We had two jobs to do- to carry out treatments and the other was to train people who are on the ground already.

"They were very grateful for anything you can do for them."

David was able to show them how to use local anaesthetic, extractions using the correct instruments and procedures to sterilize the equipment.

He provided the clinics with a full set of extraction forceps, which will be used by the medical officers in the future to treat their patients.

David, who is from South Africa originally, added: "I was really quite amazed at how backwards things are in Kenya. I thought it would be more progressive.

"There was very little electricity anywhere. There was no Government supplied water so people have to get water from the river or waterhole. But despite this they are quite a happy bunch of people."

The party also took time to visit schools, orphanages and various groups to educate the children with regard to oral hygiene and diet.

David gave out more than 1,000 toothbrushes to adults and children, many of whom had never seen a toothbrush before.

"For about 90 per cent of them it was their first toothbrush. A lot of them use twigs and leaves to clean their teeth," said David.

He also thanked the local dental practices that donated unused equipment and materials to his trip to Kenya.

For more information please go to the web site www.akambaaidfund.org.


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